Nancy Becker: Woman, 88, killed in ALLIGATOR ATTACK after she slipped into a pond at retirement community
As per Beaufort County officials, the 9-foot 8-inch gator looked like it was holding the woman's body hostage until officials stepped in
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA: The body of an 88-year-old woman was found Monday, August 15, near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, after what authorities described as a suspected alligator attack. Nancy Becker, a resident of Sun City Hilton Head, was found in a pond in the gated 55-plus community located in Okatie. Beaufort County Coroner David Ott and the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said that investigators believed she slipped and fell while gardening, according to The Island Packet.
However, Maj Angela Viens, Beaufort County sheriff’s spokeswoman said that it was unclear how Becker ended up in the roughly 300-square-yard pond. About 30 minutes later Viens arrived at the scene about 11.45 am after someone dialed 911 and reported that a person was in the water with an alligator, she said. Viens also said that she saw the animal, which she described as a large alligator, near the edge of the pond with the woman's body. Deputies got to Sun City around 11.15 am after receiving a call from a resident reporting that an alligator, a 9-foot 8-inch male, seemed to be "guarding" Becker’s body at the edge of the water.
According to NBC News, she told reporters at the scene, "The alligator was basically holding her hostage, I guess I don't know what the appropriate term would be. It was guarding her and did not want people close by." The coroner’s office collected Becker’s body around 1 pm. "An autopsy is expected to take place on Tuesday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston," Ott said. By 4 pm on Monday, DNR employees and other law enforcement officials gathered along the edge of the pond near the intersection of Col Thomas Heyward Road and Fort Walker Lane looking for the alligator. The animal was taken away and euthanized, DNR officials said on Monday night.
WSAV reported the last time someone was attacked by an alligator in Sun City, where more than 16,000 residents live and which describes itself as the largest "active adult community located in the heart of the South Carolina low country," was in 2019. Deborah Cook, who survived the attack then told the news station that she had been walking her dog when the animal lunged at her leg and bit her hand, which she believed she'd lost. "I was so angry, I didn't want to die like that," she told the station. "I just started punching him in his eyes. I thought, 'I’m going to punish you.' Miraculously he turned around and left," she added.
Alligator attacks are fairly uncommon in the southeastern region of the US but are more common in Florida than in South Carolina. Alligators are most active during the spring and summer, The Island Packet added.